Our power minister Mr. Piyush Goyal said that government’s mission is to have ‘one nation, one grid, one price’,and that electricity is available at same rate of Rs 4.40 per unit across India.
The Govt. believes it should achieve energy sufficiency for the next generation and is also confident of transformational changes in the coming 3 years.
What has changed for India’s power sector in recent years?
It is very difficult to talk about power sector because it have many branches like – fuel, generation, transmission, distribution and energy saving. If we look at all these 5 things, there has been a massive change in all of them.
On gas, a start has been made to use it for running at 35 per cent of plants. Plants today are producing surplus power. In transmission, tremendous work has been done in terms of making it one nation, one grid. In each element of the chain there has been a huge progress in the last two years.
A lot of gas-based capacity is currently lying stranded. The government brought out a scheme of reverse auction where gas-based plants can bid that amount to run 35 per cent of efficiency, which allows them to service some of their cost requirement. There has been a complete re-negotiation with Qatar and arrangements are being made to import more gas. It is a long haul and old problem and one can see the genuine efforts being made. Including many changes in hydrocarbon exploration and pricing policy.
State financial health is still an issue. While the ministry of power has done enough to facilitate reforms and UDAY being one such initiative, the ball lies in the court of the states. The dream of 24×7 power will remain a dream till the states come on board. Why?
In many ways the majority of states by signing the UDAY scheme have already come on board. They have committed to reduce the AT& C losses to 15 per cent by 2019. So in many senses the majority of states have already come on board.
Many thermal power plants in the country are cutting generation due to low demand. In this scenario the consumption of coal has also gone down. So are the power and coal surpluses for real or is it resulting from lack of demand?
Obviously lack of demand. Hopefully UDAY and similar schemes will increase the capacity of discoms and various other schemes will increase demand from the consuming public.